Our Justice Theatre program stages interactive theatre performances in classrooms and community settings around the province, featuring legal issues relevant to the everyday lives of students and those with unique legal needs.
Drama can be an effective way to explain key legal concepts—the principles that underlie our legal system, the rule of law, the role of the judge and jury.
Our Justice Theatre team of professionally-trained actors stage performances for schools and community groups throughout British Columbia. These are dramatized scenes from jury trials followed by Q&A sessions designed to introduce participants to crucial legal concepts.
Engaging and relevant
Each Justice Theatre performance is designed for participatory engagement. Participants are encouraged to be part of the jury, to debate the issues and to vote on the outcome of the trial.
The one-hour performances address current topics affecting young people and communities-at-large. Frequently requested topics include:
- Bullying and the Internet
- Bullying and Violence
- Gang Violence
How to book Justice Theatre
Schools and community groups should contact Rob McAninch, Justice Theatre Coordinator, to book a performance or find out when the troupe will be in their community.
To help with operating costs, the Justice Theatre charges a minimal cost-recovery fee. Our fee structure is:
- $475 per performance in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley
- $575 per performance in the rest of the province
We offer performances at a reduced rate to language classes for adult newcomers under the federal government's Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program.
Please note we require a minimum number of bookings in a community before a performance date can be confirmed.
Teaching resources to use with your class
For teachers who have booked a Justice Theatre performance for their class, we provide a resource package1 to enrich the learning of students who attend the performance. Included in the package are:
- pre- and post-drama classroom activities
- background readings
- suggestions for further reading
The grade levels of the lesson ideas are deliberately left open, since all of the activities may be adapted up or down the grade levels, from the Intermediate classroom through to Grade 12. Although the activities might best be incorporated into social studies classes, they also support other curriculum areas: Indigenous studies, law and civics courses, northern studies, English/language arts, personal planning and social responsibility curricula.
These teaching resources were developed to accompany a 2016-17 Justice Theatre performance tour throughout British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories. This tour and the accompanying resources were made possible with the generous funding support of the Law Foundation of Ontario.
If you use these resources, we would be grateful if you completed our evaluation. Your comments and suggestions help us improve our work.
1 At this time, the resource package materials relate only to three Justice Theatre topics: Theft Under $5,000 (Shoplifting), Uttering Threats (Online Bullying), and Assault Causing Bodily Harm.